Four Panthers place at Gene Gagliardi Tournament

TRINIDAD — The John Mall Panthers are continuing to improve as the season progresses as witnessed by the two champions and two third-place finishers who took home medals at the 25th annual Gene Gagliardi Wrestling Invitational. The team finished in a solid 5th place with 85 points, ten ahead of Alamosa, which as a team is ranked number 10 in 3A and also ahead of Dolores Huerta, which had 72 points and is the number six team in 3A. It was an impressive outing for the Panthers; those who placed met stiff competition while the other non-placers were very close to advancing to the placement rounds but could not find the extra moves to score points. Jonathan Andreatta took home another first- place medal going 4-0 on the day. His championship matchup against Fabian Guerrero of Dolores Huerta was every bit exciting, and the young Panther won in sudden death over the number six ranked 3A grappler by a score of 13-11. Andreatta scored a takedown after the first overtime period ended in a tie. The two-point takedown came after both wrestlers fought for over eight minutes in the sudden death round. In sudden death, the first wrestler to score a point wins the match. Earlier in the day, Andreatta’s first match ended after a 0.17 pinfall which was the quickest of the entire day. His second bout was against Diego Valero of Taos, an eighth grader with a 25-3 record who was the state middle school champion. He won easily 11-0. Marshall Ross, 113 pounds with a record of 16 and 7, also brought home the gold, defeating Cristobal Valerio (21-7 record) of Taos in a 15-8 decision. Ross controlled the entire flow of the match and earned another championship. Jason Murphy, 18-8 at 195 pounds defeated Ron Atencio of Dolores Huerta to capture third place with a 5-2 decision. Murphy defeated Atencio in the first round 7-1, but met up with him again after losing in the semifinals, sending him into the consolation bracket with his former opponent. Murphy’s only defeat came against Alberto Rodriquez of Florence by pinfall at the 5:39 mark. Heavyweight Andrew Vigil also took home a third-place medal. Vigil won his opening match over Michael Quintana (10-6) of Alamosa with a 5-2 decision. Vigil lost his semifinal match against Ramon Marmol (17-3 and the number three ranked wrestler in New Mexico 3A class) by pin at 2:33, sending him into the consolation bracket where he met Quintana for third place. He defeated the Alamosa wrestler in a 4-1 overtime victory. Vigil scored three points in the final minute of OT and Quintana could not respond which would have sent the match into sudden death. Tim Pacheco, (120 pounds) went 1-2 for the afternoon. David Falhaber (138) of La Veta went 0-2. At 145 pounds, Herr Haught of La Veta and Adam Bobian met in the consolation bracket where Haught defeated Bobian by pinfall at 4:35, but lost his next bout eliminating him from the placement rounds. Haught finished the day 1-2 and Bobian finished 2-2. Lawrence Martinez (152) was 0-2. Zane Barber (160) had two first round byes and lost his next two matches. As the season is in the home stretch, the Panthers are looking to advance their athletes to state, and the Valley classic this weekend is the place to start. (See related story.)